NJ Drivers Get Less For Gas Tax Dollars Than Most Other States

STATE — New Jersey ranked near the bottom of a list comparing how much states send to Washington DC in fuel tax dollars and what they receive in spending, but every state received more highway money from the federal government than its drivers paid according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

For every dollar in gas tax money spent by New Jersey drivers, the state received an extra 8 cents from the federal government. Only Arizona, Indiana and Texas got a smaller return. Alaska made out the best, receiving an extra $3.99 for every dollar its citizens paid in federal fuel taxes. New York gained an extra 40 cents per dollar, and Pennsylvania saw an extra 38 cents returned.

The data highlights a larger problem – the federal gas tax does not raise enough money to meet the nation’s transportation needs. Congress has added other money to the highway trust fund three times since 2008.

GAO auditors cautioned lawmakers against placing too much importance on the state by state rate of return findings. “Using rate of return as a major factor in determining federal highway funding levels is at odds with re-examining and restructuring federal surface transportation programs so that performance and accountability for results is factored into transportation investment decisions,” analysts wrote.

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